Director: Samuel Bayer (2010)
Starring: Jackie Earle Hayley, Thomas Dekker, Kellan Lutz
Not quite as bad as everyone says it is. But still pretty bad. A Nightmare On Elm Street is a remake of, well, do I really need to say any more? I will a bit, just so's you know where I stand. Wes Craven's 1984 piece is arguably one of the finest slasher movies in cinema history. And this remake isn't. At all. It gets some things right but most things wrong. Behold.
The characters that aren't Freddy Krueger all suck. Freddy Krueger kinda sucks. There's no John Saxon. There's no Robert Englund. New Nancy is incredibly bland. The did-he-or-didn't-he subplot is stupid (he did). The dream sequences are unimaginitive. The kill sequences are too reminiscent of those from Craven's original. There aren't enough kills. Freddy looks like ET crossed with a puppy. His voice is stupid. He's very rarely menacing. The pacing is off. For the first half, there's a sense of disconnection between the scenes; there's no flow and the introduction of Nancy is hashed. There's no subtext - it's just Freddy growling like Batman and acting like some torture-guff reject. Wes Craven had his Nightmare represent Nancy's awakening as a sexual being. When Freddy's glove emerges from the bathwater, it's heading for her Vajayjay for a reason - Bayer has it happen simply because Craven did it.
And this is the movie's biggest mistake: it tries far too hard to distance itself from previous Nightmares (the casting of Jackie - new makeup for Freddy) but uses too much of Craven's original material to defy comparison. It's not a re-imagining - bar the finale and a few bits and pieces inbetween, much of it is scene-for-scene copying.
The students' reaction to finding Twilight on the semester's reading list wasn't a happy one
There are good bits too, and a few more of them than one might expect given the movie's reputation. The use of the Everly Brothers is stunning. The redo of the flying bed death thing is technically very good. There's plenty of grue. The showdown between Freddy and Nancy is brutal. For all his new faults, it's good to see Freddy again and it's nice to see an attempt to make him properly scary. I liked the return of the "...my world, bitch" line. And the final bit (a homage to the 'pulling-mom-through-the-window-door' shot) is amusing, if only because it looks as shit as it did the first time around. Given the years of improvement in CGI and filmmaking technology, why couldn't they give us some Inception style nightmares? Surely we've seen enough boiler rooms and smelly teenage bedrooms?
Ultimately, it's not quite as bad as many will say, although it does pale into insignificance next to its mighty predecessor. This is Nightmare for people who've never actually had a real Nightmare.